I was reading an interesting article on businessweek about the new CPUs that are coming on the market.
They commented about the well known fact that lately the progress into higher clockspeed has slowed down a bit (huge heating problems among other issues).
For example, Intel is not expected to introduce its 4 GHz processor until late next year (initially was planned to be delivered at the end of 2004) and some analyst predict that probably we will not see a 5 GHz processor until 2007.
Chip vendors are focusing in packing more features in their CPUs and as marketing move, they are putting less emphasis on clock speed (like dropping the clock speed indication from the CPU name).
Performance wise, progress seems it will be concentrated in the following main areas: increase the bus data width (64 bit), increase the speed of the main bus, larger internal cache (I believe the P4 EE has an additional 2 MB cache) and multicore technology (having 2 or more CPUs working on the same piece of silica).
Of course software need to be purposely written in order to best utilize this features.
My question is, we all know that Flight Simulator is GHz hungry, do you think that to have a significant improvement in performance the next version of sim needs to be radically rewritten in order to take advantage of the new tricks that CPUs vendor are adopting to speed up performance not directly increasing the GHz????
For example I know that the Centrino chips, have bigger internal cache (1 MB) compared to the same speed "normal" P4, however I heard that as far as FS is concerned you do not see much difference in performance. So software needs to be specifically optimized to make the best use of a larger internal cache??
Rewriting the Sim to be a 64 bit application would speed up significantly the FPS??? (that means keeping the FPS at a fixed value, more resources for eye candy, smooth simulation, more simulated features and more detail)
In few words.....seem that the "CPU speedometer" has hit a bit of a wall recently, so what is your opinon on how FS can keep the pace of the performance improvement of the past if the GHz needle will not go as much high as in the past??
On a "selfish" note.....seems that maybe (hopefully) I do not have to retire my P4 2.4 as soon as I thought!!!! eheheh :-)
Thank you for your answers and opinion!!!!
Dell Inspiron 8200
P4 2.4 GHz
1 GB Ram
64 MB Nvidia GForce4
80 GB HD 7200 g/min